EXCLUSIVE. Romanian MPs have… “immunized” their absences in the new parliamentary procedure! Romanian taxpayers will have to pay for the no-show of their representatives in the parliament
The latest amended version of Law #96 of 2006 regarding the status of senators and deputies, promulgated by President TraianBasescu on 4 July 2013 and published in the Official Gazette #411 on 8 July 2013, legalizes the PAID parliamentary absenteeism.
Unexcused absences from the parliamentary sessions lead to a reduced monthly pay, but senators and deputies in the Romanian parliament have found a convenient solution to get rid of these absences. To get the absences excused, the MP needs a good personal relationship with the parliamentary group leader. All that it takes then is to notify the leader that an urgent problem that has occurred “in the constituency” requires immediate attention and physical presence.
This provision was included in Article 21 of the amended law, titled “Imunitatee” (Immunity, but spelled out with two “e”). This article modifies and completes Chapter 5 of Law #96 of “Parliamentary Immunity”.
So, people’s representatives are further immune to absences.
Ex-liberal Senator, ActorMIrceaDiaconu has been one of the MPs who have criticized virulently the parliamentary absenteeism. Now he expressed disappointment and vowed not to abandon the fight for getting the MPs to pay for their absences. “I had two initiatives for the absenteeism to be sanctioned. The first came at the beginning of the parliamentary term, but it is stuck at the Committee led by Mr. Igas (Senator TraianIgas, PDL, ex-minister of interior –n.r.). The second one was submitted towards the end of the term and had fewer chances of success. But I will ask the parliamentary group of PNL not to leave this unsolved and to push for the revision of these provisions” stated MirceaDiaconu for Select News.
Below is Article 29 titled “Participation in parliamentary sessions” as amended. Amendments and addition are underlined.
(1) Participation in the chamber’s sessions is a legal, moral and procedural obligation of the members of parliament – deputies and senators
(1.1) Deputies and senators can request in writing from the parliamentary group leader the permission not to attend a meeting of the relevant chamber of the Parliament in case of problems in exercising their mandate or of personal encounters requesting their physical presence.
(1.2) In case the deputy or the senator misses the relevant Chamber’s sessions because of unforeseen circumstances, they can submit a request to the permanent Bureau of the Parliament asking for absences to be excused.
(2) Any Deputy or Senator is by default excused if they are:
(a) members of the Government
b) tasked by the relevant Chamber or by the Parliament to conduct a mission that prevents them to attend Parliament sessions
(b) tasked by the relevant Chamber or by the Parliament to complete a mission outside the Parliament (to participate in activities decided by the joint Permanent Bureau of the two Chambers or by the Permanent Bureau of the relevant Chamber or at the invitation of the Government or of the President of Romania)
(c) on sick leave
d) excused in accordance with the parliamentary procedure to attend to personal or official duties
(d) excused by the group leader to attend to personal problems or for conducting a mission within the scope of the official mandate
(3) Names of Deputies and Senators absenting from parliamentary sessions and from the permanent committees will be published monthly on the relevant official websites in accordance with each Chamber’s procedure in case they have not secured a prior approval per the articles above.
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